What We’re Talking About In 2023
The last few years have sent us all some unexpected curve balls and making meaningful predictions might seem ambitious in such turbulent times. But we’re not easily daunted, so we asked the WPR team for the topics and trends they expect to be talking about in 2023.
We’ve rounded up our top six, chosen for their relevance to businesses of all shapes and sizes, across industries as diverse as retail, leisure, HVAC and engineering. Whatever your product or service, whether you’re consumer or B2B focused, these issues will be on your agenda in the coming months.
1. THE METAVERSE – JADE MANSELL, SENIOR CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR
Will 2023 see the rise of the metaverse? A self-contained universe curated by a brand, the metaverse uses virtual and augmented reality to create a place where users can spend time exploring, uploading user generated content, attending events, and meeting other users – sometimes even celebrities, as was the case when Nike invited NBA legend LeBron James into NIKELAND.
No concept better sums up the notion that marketers are living in Gen Z’s world and must meet them in it. The first generation to grow up with the internet, and a visual-first audience whose needs change as frequently as the newest TikTok trending sound, this generation is changing how marketers operate. Brands such as Gucci, Microsoft, Hyundai, Disney and Coca-Cola have already invested, and by 2024 the metaverse is predicted to grow into a $783.3 billion market. This alternate digital reality is still in its experimental phase and brands are yet to see a return on investment, but it’s a trend to keep an eye on. We suggest you immerse yourself personally and look out for potential opportunities for your brand in 2023.
2. HOW THE BIG PLAYERS DEVELOP AD PRODUCTS – ROB LEWIS, PAID MEDIA DIRECTOR
After the mass of negative media for META and Twitter – and the resulting loss of brand advertiser confidence in the platforms – those of us working in the paid media space are keeping a close eye on how the big players develop ad products in response to the drop in spend and share prices. As ever, the challenger platform TikTok is developing new features to eat into market share, particularly across the B2C eCommerce market. We’ll also be watching out for the return of demographic breakdowns for META ads reporting, the reintroduction of 28-day ad attribution after iOS 14’s wipe-out of ad tracking, the reinvigorated lead generation product from META, Instagram DM automation and WhatsApp ad developments.
3. AGILE SOCIAL STRATEGIES – EMMA COVE, CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR
Pace of change is going to be one of the biggest factors influencing social media marketing in 2023. What’s relevant today will be old news by this summer (if not sooner). With platforms competing among themselves to anticipate and adapt to user demand, all of us working in social need to be agile in how we respond. It’ll be more important than ever for social teams to have the scope and capacity to react swiftly to new trends, opportunities and ways of working. By listening to what users are telling us they want to see, using data intelligently and being aware of what’s happening across all platforms – what’s successful on TikTok will inevitably pop up elsewhere – social marketers and brands will be best placed to stay ahead of the pack in 2023.
4. AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS – JANE AINSWORTH, MANAGING DIRECTOR
At a time when marketing budgets are being closely scrutinised, spend on influencer marketing is predicted to increase in 2023 (by as much as 23% in the US and the trends are similar in the UK). With traditional media increasingly fragmented, influencer marketing has become a key route for engaging with specific audiences. The best PRs have always been great consumers of all forms of media – to do this job well you have to stay curious and creative about the best ways to communicate and engage with a brand’s stakeholders. From identifying and securing coveted spots on popular podcasts, to building long-standing relationships with the influencers that resonate with target customers, we expect brands to increasingly turn to experienced agencies to help integrate influencers into comms strategies this year.
5. REGIONAL NEWS SYNDICATION – RACHAEL HEISE, SENIOR PR DIRECTOR
We’re expecting the syndication of regional news to continue to grow in 2023. Securing regional coverage is no longer simply about knowing local reporters. To drive coverage and results, it’s now essential to have relationships with the right journalists, regional content editors, SEO writers, trend reporters and, most importantly, to have contacts at the national and regional newswires as well.
6. LEADING BY EXAMPLE IN ESG – NICK WHITTAKER, SENIOR CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR
Following COP27 last year, the onus is firmly on businesses to lead by example in the quest to reduce negative impact on our planet. Some businesses are already well on their way on this journey. For those that aren’t, we can expect an array of environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies to be introduced in 2023. Not only is a sound ESG approach key for investors and internal stakeholders, but consumer expectations are rising, meaning companies also need a robust corporate comms strategy in place around these issues.
To test just how robust your ESG comms strategy is, ask yourself four key questions: How often are you communicating? Are your external comms transparent and trustworthy? Are your policies reflecting the services and advice you’re promoting? Are you at risk of being accused of greenwashing? The pushback against greenwashing is only going to intensify. This is not about presenting a positive image, it’s about owning the issues and genuinely reviewing how you operate. Get it right – and put an effective communications strategy in place – and you can avoid the potential pitfalls of negative headlines and consumer scepticism, while also making a positive difference.
If you’re interested in chatting to any of the WPR team about your marketing strategy and direction for 2023, please get in touch. We’d love to talk.